Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Canada's Single-Payer Health Care is Nothing to Emulate

Obama, before running for president, when he could be more candid, favored a Canadian-style single-payer, government-run health care system. Now, he's pulled back--at least until he's elected.

He might want to check on how the Canadian system is working. A new article reports that the chair of the committee that created Canada's single-payer system now says that the system has such serious deficiencies that no rationing of care or mass infusion of tax dollars can solve the problem. He now advocates replacing the system with a private one in which people have more choice. Another article presents another of those nightmare anecdotes in which a patient reports that the Canadian system is so overwhelmed that she couldn't get off the months-long waiting list even though she was losing her sight. And the average wait time to see a specialist is 18 weeks.

And that's in a country that is much easier to provide health care for than the U.S., which has many millions of new immigrants with extraordinary health care needs but with little money to pay into the system.


Anonymous said...

I have yet to see an example of a government-run health care system that works. When you have Canada, who is often held in high regard for their health care system, sending some of its patients to the US for treatment, and the UK keeping patients in ambulances to avoid breaking their rule about a patient spending 4 hours or less in the ER, shouldn't that tell people something?

But it doesn't matter, does it? All voters care about is that they don't have to pay for health care. (Which they do, of course. Where do those voters think that tax money to fund this failed experiment will come from, rich people? Thin air?)

Grace said...

I live in Canada, and here we hear horror stories about American health care - stories of dying people being turned away; people having to choose between saving for their children's education or for health insurance. The system of Universal Health Care may not be perfect, but I will take it over a two-tiered medical system any day.

You mentiont long waits for specialists - how many people in the US never even get to see specialists because they don't have a health insurance provider?

As a tax payer, I am completely fine with my tax dollars helping those who are unable to help themselves, because I know that someday, I will need that care as well.


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